Exercise books are difficult to review. The results one sees from the exercises presented in a book is a subjective thing, as is the level of enjoyment received. And, when I am looking for an exercise book or DVD, I’m looking for something that works and is fun. That said, I think that Balance Training: Stability Training for Core Strength and a Sculpted Body by Karon Karter is both fun and effective.
Balance Training presents a series of exercises to develop core strength and a toned body using five different pieces of equipment. Ms. Karter makes use of the foam roller, balance ball, BOSU Balance Trainer, balance board and balance cushion. I will admit up front that I only have a balance ball, so I wasn’t able to try all of the exercises in the book. However, I did read over the other sections, and feel that the exercises in them are just as enjoyable and effective as the ones I tried out.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was how much care was taken in making sure the reader is doing the exercises correctly. Not only are there plenty of clear pictures, there is also section explaining exactly how things like natural spine should look and feel. This makes following the exercise directions much easier. Beginner and advanced directions are also included for some exercises. A series of workouts is provided, showing how to string together different exercises in the book in the most effective ways. It is true that no book is ever going to be as good as a DVD (and no DVD will ever be as good as a class), the pictures and instructions in this book are close to the best I’ve come across.
The biggest issue I have with this book is all the equipment required. It is likely that you have a balance ball at home (or can pick one up fairly inexpensively), but some of the other pieces, like the BOSU Balance Trainer, are quite expensive. There are plenty of exercises that just make use of the balance ball, but I felt like I was missing out on a lot because I’m not willing to spending around $300 to pick up the other four pieces of equipment.
I would happily recommend this book if you are looking for balance training and core strengthening exercise, and you either have access to or are willing to buy the required equipment.
Buy Balance Training: Stability Training for Core Strength and a Sculpted Body from Amazon
Publisher: Ulysses Press